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How to Prevent Baby & Toddler Scratching with Eczema Clothing

Toddler Scratching - main

There is nothing worse than seeing your child suffer. Eczema is absolutely unforgiving when it comes to the maddening desire to scratch. As adults we can sometimes control the scratching reflex, but many times we don’t even realize we’re doing it. And it feels so good to scratch! How can we blame our children for trying to relieve their itchy skin by scratching? I know my son used to scratch so intensely, he’d go into these itch trances. In a zombie-like state he’d dig at his skin, drawing blood and sometimes tears in the process. Beyond that, toddler scratching can cause infections and make their skin more vulnerable to external irritants, such as detergents.

What are we to do? How can we help our little ones? Determining their eczema triggers and treating their skin with medication and/or moisturizers is essential, but can take time. How can you prevent them from hurting their already delicate skin even further? How can you provide itch relief or toddlers and babies?

The answer….

Scratch Protective Eczema Clothing

There are many types of clothing made specifically with eczema in mind. Some are made with special fabrics containing various amounts of silver and silk. And there are those made with attached scratch mittens and enclosed feet to prevent toddler’s scratching with their fingers and even toes. When Tristan’s itching was so bad that he’d stay awake all night scratching, we realized we needed to invest in some clothing to enclose his hands and basically protect him from himself.  We have tried countless garments and our favorites are:

ScratchMeNot Flip mitten sleeves to prevent scratching.ScratchMeNot

These flip mitten sleeves are really cute and functional! I had tried a few different sleeves from different companies and found these to be our favorite since there is lycra in the sleeves which prevents stretching out over time. If the sleeves stretch out, kids can easily get out of them and what good would they be at that point?

We used ScratchMeNot religiously during the days when Tristan was scratching 24/7 with no end in sight. Looking back, I cannot believe how far we’ve come. Those days seem like old nightmares and I am thankful the memories are fading.  Back in those days we would place the sleeves on Tristan during the day when he’d go into an itch trance. They just went right over his clothes and were so easy to travel with since they folded up really small. We used them right up until he was 3.5 years old and I’m not sure why he never figured out the mittens opened up. It’s probably because we never opened the mittens, but kept them closed all the time. If you’re worried about a child opening them up, they wouldn’t be too difficult to sew shut – problem solved.  BONUS – these are GREAT for newborns that scratch their skin. Plus, these provide great itch relief for toddlers and babies because the silk covers make it possible for children to still rub their skin, but without causing damage.

Sleep sacks with sleeves are great for itchy babies and toddlers with eczema.Bamboo Bubby

Sleep sacks that grow with your child – one size fits an infant up to three years old. The Bamboo Bubby toddler sleep sack with sleeves features sleeves with attached mittens to prevent scratching. The fabric is a cooling, antibacterial bamboo blend that is quite soft and comfy for little ones.

Mittens & Gloves

Simple mittens are great for preventing toddler scratching, but can be easily removed by even the youngest child. Check out Goumi Mitts Infant Eczema Mittens for children up to 22lbs that feature a velcro closure making it extremely tough for a baby to remove.

And for those looking for gloves over mittens, the Norwegian Asthma & Allergy Association makes bamboo Eczema Gloves for Kids that are much more comfortable and will last longer than the standard white cotton glove. They are available for children in sizes 1T up to an older child’s size 9 and adult gloves are available as well.

Continuing reading Top Distraction Techniques to Prevent Toddler & Baby Scratching.

About the Author: Jennifer is the author of It’s An Itchy Little World blog, as well as owner of The Eczema Company. After going through so many trials and errors to heal her son’s eczema, Jennifer wanted to share her experiences and favorite products with others in need. Discover her journey here. Jennifer is not a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to take the replace of medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. I also know the trance well…broke my heart every time. I only wish there were such clothing options when my eldest son was suffering as a young child. (15 years ago) He lived in all in one pj’s with the feet for years. It got harder and harder every year as he got older…one benefit of growing slowly was he could stay in them longer…all though we had to keep buying new ones as the Vaseline that we smothered him in would gum up the clothing and render them ‘yucky’!

    Looking forward to hearing your distraction tactics…Barney came in very handy during those times I needed to breastfeed and pump for my newborn and kept Michael visually occupied . I think we ended up ownig every Barney video! lol Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles


    December 8, 2011
  2. When my son was bad I tried to get him to not scratch by making him distracted…I would also cut his nails really short so he couldn’t scratch off his skin although he would anyways! UGH!


    December 8, 2011
    • hi – i’m going to write a distraction piece on friday. do you have any tips you want to share? or you can just post them as comments on friday. keeping the nails short is super important, you’re right. i know i’m guilty of forgetting to cut them often enough 😦


      December 8, 2011
  3. Yep, I know this itch trance very well. Sigh. Eyes open, but looking at nothing, mouth open, not reacting to my words or anything. He’s 3 1/4 and the whole thing just started less than half a year ago. I’m looking forward to your distracting techniques. 🙂


    December 8, 2011
    • Karin – oh no! sorry you have to go through it too! have determined his triggers yet? have you ruled out food? how severe is his eczema? i’m planning to get the distraction part out friday.


      December 8, 2011
      • His eczema is ‘only’ on his legs, mainly behind his knees, but also rashes on the back of his upper and lower legs. At one point everything was itchy, inflamed and looked like burned. 😦 I believe he whole thing started with an increase of chlorine in our tap water and we got a huge improvement after we started to use another water source for him (it took about 6 weeks to get better, horrible time). But it didn’t clear completely. I’m in the process of ruling out food, but this is taking a long long time. In the meantime I had to start using Hydrocortisone and Antihistamines. Unfortunately we don’t have access to testing where we live (in the boonies 😉 ) and would have to go overseas (different environment like India, Mauritius, Kenya, South Africa). It’s like looking for a needle in a hay stack, but like you, I’m not giving up.


        December 10, 2011
      • You’re doing all you can do – so that’s great! Testing with real foods is the best way to do it anyway as many times the blood and scratch tests aren’t 100% accurate. My son’s allergies never showed up in lab tests, so the food elimination diets and challenges were the way we ended up going. It was hard, but now that he barely has any eczema, it’s so worth it. So glad to hear removing the chlorine helped a lot. I can imagine how hard that was on his body. Good luck and keep in touch. If you ever feel inspired to write a guest post on this site, I’d be thrilled!


        December 12, 2011
  4. Hey! Thanks for the link! 🙂


    December 7, 2011
    • Of course! Your post inspired me 🙂


      December 7, 2011

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